Monthly Archives: August 2017

Watching the Eclipse

Did we really drive 1000 miles to southern Illinois and back to view the eclipse? Indeed we did. It was two minutes of awe-inspiring amazement (and hours of bumper-to-bumper highway driving and backroads after we ditched the crowds.) The sky during totality was other-worldly and glorious, like nothing I’d ever seen.

We were well-equipped for sky gazing, with eclipse glasses and solar filter film covering our binoculars and telescope. The elder offspring took many photos through the telescope, and we were able to see sunspots and solar flares. Here are several of those spectacular photos (all eclipse photos © Jake Conner) and a poem inspired by the day.















Bite by bite
the moon swallows the sun,
leaving a crooked smile.

The grin grows thinner,
a curtain of darkness descends,
melting humid air.

Clouds of starlings sweep the sky,
spectral sunset falls
in every direction.

All at once the heavens blaze,
dancing fire rings the moon,
phantom sun glows a ghostly light.

As if in a dream, the moment passes.

The solar crescent flips and waxes.
The moon surrenders the spotlight,
disgorging the growing sun.
–©Buffy Silverman, August 21, 2017

Happy Poetry Friday!  Visit Jone at Check It Out for the roundup of all of today’s posts.

Summer Poetry Swap….and story time for the eclipse!

This summer I again participated in the summer poetry swap, organized by  Tabatha Yeatts. Like most of you, my mailbox is usually home to bills and catalogs. But not in the summer–every couple of weeks my mailbox grins with poetry treats! And because I’m generous, I’m willing to share my goodies.

My summer adventure kicked-off with a collage and poem from Keri Collins Lewis. I loved Keri’s invitation to explore:











Next up, Carol Varsalona gifted me a nature journal and a poem inspired by her morning observation–a good model for said-journal!

Watching in Awe

In pensive stillness,
she stood.
From the window
I watched.
She came in peace,
baby does
not in sight.
she moved
behind trees,
careful to hide
her caramel silhouette.

into the silence,
as if with
she communed
with nature.
morning light
caught her eye.
She delicately
passed on by.
–Carol Varsalona


Heidi Mordhorst used Tabatha’s terrific poetry swap logo and my own nature/science obsession to inspire her colorful poem:


green rides into yellow
glowing molecules of chlorophyll
rolling through particles golden as pollen
motion of stem sugaring under sunshine
summer chemistry
–Heidi Mordhorst



Imagine my surprise when I opened Margaret Simon‘s envelope and saw that some of my monarch photos that I had posted on Facebook had inspired her poem! Margaret also gave me plaque/collage she made, with a raft of buffleheads (my favorite water fowl) and the good advice to “Be impeccable with your word.”

From a tiny egg
the size of a pinky fingernail,
iridescent like a snow globe,
a monarch grows.

From a swamp milkweed,
caterpillar sheds his newborn skin
earning stripes along the way,
a monarch grows.

From a neaby leaf,
chrysalis dangles like a green lantern
darkening more each day
a monarch grows.

From a see-through shelter,
butterfly unfolds as a scarf from a magicians’s hand,
spreads wide orange kite-wings,
a monarch flies.
–Margaret Simon

Thanks for the treats, summer swappers. It’s been a welcome respite from what’s going on in the world today. (As have been the green lanterns I’ve got dangling at home, waiting for that magician’s hand to work its wonders.)

And finally, to make a long post even longer, I’m sharing a timely story I wrote for the July/August issue of Click Magazine. Back in April the editor asked me to write a read-aloud story about the upcoming eclipse. Feel free to read it with your favorite 5 or 6 year old and try out the activities!

Happy eclipse watching, and Happy Poetry Friday. Be sure to visit Kay for all of this week’s posts.